JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville hosted the 26th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast on Friday morning at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.
The sold-out event honors Dr. King's life and legacy of service.
On the 84th anniversary of King's birth, Mayor Alvin Brown welcomed U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young as the event's keynote speaker. Young confronted segregation with King and has been a voice for civil and human rights throughout his life as a public servant.
"I got beat up but I didn't get beat up any worse than knocked around in a football game, and it was for a purpose," Young said, talking about his experiences fighting for civil rights.
He said King's message must live on, and Brown echoed that wish.
"No matter where you come from no matter how poor you are, but if you do your part we will do ours," Brown said.
Youth from local schools and organizations were honored as Tomorrow's Leaders at the event. Tomorrow's Leaders are young people who exemplify the ideals and principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and excel in community volunteerism, leadership and civic responsibility.
"You're going to see the education theme on Dr. King's holiday every year as long as I'm mayor," Brown said.
One student said she went out to remember King and learn how she can better serve the community.
"I thought it would be really nice to see what other people out here just really want to serve and just enjoy and remember Dr. King," said Brianna Jardan, a senior at Paxon School for Advanced Studies.
The bottom line the leaders at the breakfast want to teach students is that the fight for civil rights is not just something to remember but it's a fight still being fought.
"Civil rights is an issue that's a ongoing process," said Elgin Foreman Jr., of the U.S Department of Labor.
Students will be off of school Monday, and city leaders are hoping this breakfast made an impact on them to honor the legacy of King by making it a day on and not a day off when it comes to fighting for civil rights and serving the community.